To get selected to a top B-School in the country, students must not only get good score in the entrance exams but also ace the Group Discussion (GD), Writing Ability Test (WAT) and Personal Interview (PI) rounds that are organised by the institutes.
After the entrance exams result come out, institutes shortlist students for the 2nd round of the admission process.This round may consist of GD or WAT or both as well as PI. This is an effective way for the institutes to screen the shortlisted students based on their communication skills and their leadership qualities. Many institutes give higher weightage to this process than to the performance of the candidates in the entrance exams.
To ace the GD and WAT round, the candidates should develop a reading habit. They should be aware of the current affairs and the hot topics of discussion.The topics could be contemporary, social, economic, management, politics or even abstract.For example, for CAT 2018 the often asked topics were: Independence of Judiciary, Sabrimala and Triple Talaq issue, IL&FS crisis, Trade War, Global Warming, Iran Sanctions, Election 2019 etc.
At Mindworkzz, we advise candidates to get a thorough understanding of facts and data pertaining to any topic and read multiple view points on that topic before they decide how they would want to present that topic in a GD or WAT. We encourage students to take part in mock GD sessions to improve their communication and leadership skills. We also encourage them to try and write WAT’s on all the important topics that they can think of, so that they do not have to think for points during the actual GD/WAT round.
One of the most important things to remember during the GD round is that it is a discussion and not a debate. The panellists are looking for candidates who can effectively communicate their points across without turning the discussion into a “fish market”. Another important thing to remember is that during the GD, the panellists are also assessing your listening and leadership skills. They want candidates who are not rigid on their view points. The candidate should be willing to accept different viewpointsand should be flexible to change his stand.
During the WAT round, the candidates should express their points on the topic in anarticulateway,such that all the important points are covered and well analysed in a logical manner. Candidates should practice writing essays on various topics to improve their flow of thoughts and to also improve their writing speed.
Personal Interview (PI) is the most important aspect of the admission process to any top B-School in the country. Often, PI round carries the most weightage during the selection process. Interviews can be a normal conversation between the candidate and the panellists, or it can be a question-answer session. In a conversational interview, the panellists are trying to assess the candidates’ communication skills and his/ her personality through the quality of his/ her answers. In a Q&A type of interview the panellists aim to ascertain the knowledge of the candidates and at the same time assess how the candidates react when they do not know the answer to any question (are under pressure).
Some of the most often asked questions during a PI depending on the candidates’ profile are:
- Tell me about yourself.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What are your short-term and long-term goals?
- Why MBA?
- Talk about your accomplishments as a leader.
- Why should we admit you?
- What is your biggest failure? What did you learn from it?
- What is your greatest achievement?
- What specific skills have you learnt in the last 1 year?
- According to you which is your best skill?
- What are your hobbies?
- Why do you want to pursue MBA after graduation in Engineering/ Medical/ Arts & literature/ commerce etc.?
- Which B-school do you want to join as you have received the call from other ones also?
- What is your job responsibility?
- How do you organise yourself on a typical day?
- Why do you want to/ did you leave your job?
- What was the best/ most challenging part of your job?
- How will you contribute to the campus if we choose you?
- How do you deal with criticism?
- Tell me something which is not in your Résumé?